2009 News
December 12, 2009 - Bangkok Thailand Stake Celebrates Christmas
The Thailand Bangkok Stake celebrated Christmas on December 12, 2009. The event took place for the second year at the New Petchaburi building. Below are a few photographs from the event: Thanks to President Wisan Wisanbannawit who provided the photographs.
The Bangkok Stake Presidency with Brother and Sister Gygi who were the masters of ceremony for the evening
A missionary choir made up of missionaries serving in the Bangkok Thailand Stake
A group of Children perform
An Angelic Choir sings
November, 2009 - Asoke Chapel Re-opens
The first chapel in Thailand on Chulindr Lane, just east of Soi Asoke has re-opened following remodeling. The International Ward has moved back into the building from their temporary home at Srinakarin. The building is expected to be home to the International Ward for the foreseeable future.
October 23, 2009 - Church Policy On Scripture Translation
The head of the Church Translation department Jeffrey C. Bateson confirmed today that church policy states the following with regard to scripture translation:
"Terms from the approved Bible in the target language MUST be used UNLESS
  • the word is offensive
  • the word is clearly inappropriate OR
  • clearly inaccurate

The approved Bible for the speakers of the Thai language is: The 1971 edition produced by the Thai Bible Society [Church selection approved: May 11, 1995]
Editor's view:
While the policy may work well for many countries, I feel it is inappropriate with respect to countries where a very small percentage of the population is Christian and where a solid translation of such terms is already in place. Some policies simply don't fit when applied world-wide. Proper consideration of the people who speak the target language and their culture and history must also be considered.
Thus we now understand why terms from the Thai Bible will replace terms already in use in Thailand. They were not necessairly the choice of the translators, but rather used to conform with the policy stated above.
August 31, 2009 - The Asia Area Presidency announces new translations for several religious terms in the Thai language
From their letter:
Many of the changes seem to bring terminology used in Latter-day Saint scriptures closer to alignment with the Thai Bible. This brings a lot of transliteration from the German language into Latter-day Saint scripture and terminology (the Thai Bible was translated from the German language). For instance the new transliterations for Messiah and Jehovah now follow the German pronunciation rather than the English pronunciation of these words. Following the Thai Bible is of questionable value since less that 1/2 of 1% of speakers of the Thai language have ever seen a copy of the Bible, let alone read it.
Other changes are for words that were formerly translated, but are now transliterated such as Celestial and Telestial. Other changes have more significance such as the words for seer, charity, excommunication etc. The letter also confirms that the name of the church will change (See entry for May 14, 2009)
While most terms are approved for use immediately, the new sacrament prayers are on hold until further notice
The letter states that publication of the 2nd edition of the Latter-day Saint scriptures has been "delayed" but did not explain "why."
July 1, 2009 - New leadership for the Thailand Bangkok Mission and the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission
Former Thailand Missionary takes charge as mission president in Thailand

Michael S. Smith took charge as the new president of the Thailand Bangkok mission succeeding Karl L. Dodge who completed three years of service. President Smith served as a missionary in Thailand from 1969-1971. He is #16 on the list of missionaries who served in Thailand.
Information on President Smith: Michael Sherrod Smith, 58, and Janis Johnson Smith, five children, Mesa 46th Ward, Mesa Arizona East Stake. Brother Smith is a former missionary in the Asia Area Office, high councilor, bishop, elders quorum president, temple ordinance worker and missionary in the Southeast Asia Mission. Retired territory sales manager, Bristol-Myers Squibb Virology. Born in Nampa, Idaho, to Sherrod Smith Jr. and Marian James Smith. Sister Smith served with her husband in the Asia Area Office and is a former stake and ward Young Women president, counselor in a stake Primary presidency, ward Relief Society president and gospel doctrine teacher. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to James Leroy and Belva Johnson. [LDS Church News - January 24, 2009]

Former Thailand Missionary takes charge as mission president in Cambodia

Scott B. Smedley took charge in Cambodia as president of the Cambodia Phnom Penh mission succeeding Robert W. Winegar who completed three years of service. President Smedley who served as a missionary in Singapore was transferred to Thailand in 1970 when Singapore expelled the all the missionaries who were serving there at that time. President Smedley replaced President Robert W. Winegar who completed three years of service. President Winegar was among the first six missionaries to server in Thailand.
Information on President Smedley: Scott Brunson Smedley, 58, and Juliet Chlarson Smedley, six children, Park Ward, Layton Utah Creekside Stake. Brother Smedley is a Scoutmaster and a former bishop and counselor, counselor in a stake presidency, high councilor, Varsity Scout coach and missionary in the Southeast Asia Mission. Insurance agent, Beneficial Life. Born in Ogden, Utah, to Dale Thurgood and Helen Delell Brunson Smedley. Sister Smedley is the ward activity committee chairman and is a former stake and ward Relief Society president, counselor in a ward Young Women presidency, ward Primary president and missionary in the Uruguay/Paraguay Mission. Born in Brigham City, Utah, to Varsel Lyman and Ruth Hunsaker Chlarson. [LDS Church News - February 27, 2009]
June 13-14 - Bangkok Thailand Stake Conference.
Meetings on June 14th were held at the Landmark Hotel in Bangkok. President Grant Anderson (who is returning home) was released as 2nd counselor. Craig Mackley was called as the new counselor in the Bangkok Stake Presidency. Pictured (L-R) Wisan Wisanbannawit, Wisit Khanakham, Craig Mackley.
May 14, 2009 - The name of the church in the Thai Language is changing.
The name since 1970 has been:
The new name is:

January 18, 2009 - Mongkol Tungmala passes

Mongkol Tungmala passed away on January 18, 2009, at his home in Mountain Green, Utah. He had fought a brain tumor for a few years prior to succumbing to it.

He was the 4th native Thai to serve a full time mission (1973-1975). He taught many Thai missionaries the Thai language at the Language Training Mission in Laie, Hawaii, before becoming a missionary himself.

For a career he selected teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and Educational Administration. He worked in the Jordan and Granite School districts in the Salt Lake Valley. He developed programs for ESL and also taught others these skills at Weber State University (Ogden, Utah) and for a brief period at Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Arizona).

Mongkol was always focused on what was most important. He was never given to "light hearted activities" or "goofing off".